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Okowa Assures CSOs Of Government Partnership

By Kenneth Orusi, Asaba
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Delta State Governor, Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa has assured that his government was ready to partner with Civil Society Organizations in the state for the advancement of democracy and to be able to reach out to the yearning of Deltans especially those leaving at the rural communities.

The governor stated this at the just concluded Delta State Civil Society Summit with the theme: “Advancing Good Governance, Human Rights and Democracy; Civil Society As Developmental Partners”, held at the Best Western Hotel along Delta Broadcasting Service (DBS) Road, Asaba, the state capital.

Okowa who was represented by the Chief of Staff, Government House, Hon. Tam Brisbe, said Civil Society Organizations are veritable tools of achieving good governance, calling on Civil Societies in the state to give their maximum support to the government in order for it to achieve its SMART Agenda.

“Civil society organizations will help us actualize good governance in the nooks and crannies of the state and with the support of other relevant bodies”, Okowa posited.

According to him, “Civil Society Organizations are veritable tool for driving development”, acknowledging that the role of the body in conflict resolution, sensitization and advocacy cannot be overemphasized.

Earlier, the Special Assistant (SA) to the governor on Civil Engagement and Civil Society, Comrade Rex Emojite Ekiugbo Anighoro said, “in the 25 years of Delta State, civil societies have not been given its place till when Governor Ifeanyi Okowa came in”.

While noting that Okowa’s administration made it easy for government to interface with citizens, he stressed, “Till now civil societies were castrated, made moribund and were only remembered during elections”.

According to Anighoro, many of the civil societies were mere tools in the hands of politicians and they fissile out after elections.

He stressed that civil societies are the conscience and live wire of any society, meeting point between government, governance and the governed, adding that civil societies help to drive the pursuit of good governance and democracy.

A paper titled, “Nigerian Youth: A Silent Majority”, by Barr. Olisa Agbkoba, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) among others were presented at the summit where government at all levels were urged to strengthen relevant institutions that would engender development and move the state forward in the right direction.t.

Also some recipients, Annkio Briggs, a foremost Niger Delta Activist and Prof. Saliba Mukoro, received Commendation Awards.

Those present at the event include: Hon Barr Eugene Azuka Uzum, the Executive Assistant to governor Okowa on the Directorate of Orientation, Chief Festus Ochonogor, Senior Special Adviser to governor okowa on Political Matters, Olorogun Barr Arthur Akpowowo, Special Adviser to governor Okowa on Water Ways Security, Comrade Hope George, Senior Special Assistant to governor Okowa on Youth Development, Olisa Agbakoba SAN, former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) ably represented by Okezi Odugala (Coordinator of Forum of Delta State NGOs), Olorogun Saliba Mukoro one time gubernatorial candidate.

Others are Mrs Annkio Briggs, founder, Agape Rebirth Organization, Dr Akpor Mudiaga-Odje, a quintessential and consummate law and human rights activists, Hon Barr Reuben Izeze ,Hon member representing Ughelli South local government area in the Delta State House of Assembly cum majority whip ably represented by Barr Mesere Okiemute Samuel.